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EndNote 20 for Mac

A guide for users of the EndNote 20 software on Mac

Notes of caution

***Please be aware that there have been compatibility issues between versions of Mac’s OS updates and EndNote. Please see our EndNote FAQs (link below) for details about current and past known issues and solutions we have found.***

**Please do not store your EndNote libraries in OneDrive/SharePoint or other cloud applications. Cloud storage may corrupt your EndNote libraries.

Classes and Tutorials

Check your version of EndNote! Northwestern University now offers users access to EndNote 20, but some of you may still be using Endnote X9. If you don't yet have EndNote 20 installed, you may want to instead use our guide for EndNote X9.

The Galter Library offers a related class called EndNote. See our Classes schedule for the next available offering. 

For EndNote 20 video tutorials, check out EndNote's YouTube channel or the following videos on EndNote 20, created by Galter librarians. These videos are hosted in Northwestern Medicine's institutional repository, Prism, and require an NU NetID login. Once in Prism, click the "Download" link for the best quality. You will also see video tutorials at relevant points throughout this guide. Y

Note: While these tutorials show Endnote 20 for Windows, they are largely applicable to Endnote 20 for Mac.

Acquiring EndNote

EndNote is bibliographic management software that allows users to manage citations in personal libraries and create bibliographies based on a number of available journal or writing styles. This guide will aid you in performing basic tasks using EndNote on a Mac.

In addition to this guide, you may want to consult the EndNote Support page for information on downloading the software and the EndNote FAQ page for (you guessed it) frequently asked questions.

Is your computer a work machine managed by Feinberg School of Medicine IT? You may be able to use Self-Service to install EndNote. Try this before installing using the instructions below.

The university provides a site license for EndNote. Current Northwestern students, faculty and staff with valid Net IDs can download EndNote at no charge because of their affiliation to Northwestern. You are eligible to download it to both your work and home computers. If you do not know your Net ID or are having problems downloading the software, please contact the NUIT Support Center. Also, see Note to hospital-based users below.

Important: A zipped folder will be downloaded to your computer. Do not double click on the zipped folder. Instead, right click and extract the contents of the folder to your computer desktop. Use the installer file inside this new folder.
There is no product key for the NU version of EndNote, nor can you upgrade to the NU version from a trial version. If you are prompted for a product code, the solution is to track down the zip file that you downloaded (likely it's in your Downloads folder) and copy/drag it to the desktop. Then right click and extract the files, also to the desktop.

  • After installing the software, run the EndNote Program Update. In EndNote, go to Help >  EndNote Program Updates and follow the on-screen prompts. You can then trash the installer files as you will no longer need them.

The latest version of EndNote installs with a limited number of output styles, connection files and filters. You may need to download additional files from the EndNote website to ensure that you can directly export citations smoothly into EndNote or can create bibliographies in the journal style of your choosing. Follow these links on the EndNote website to obtain the files you need:

  • Output styles (so your bibliographies can be formatted in the journal style you choose)
  • Connection files (so you can directly connect to and search databases from EndNote)
  • Filters (so you can directly export or import citations from literature databases into EndNote)

Note to hospital-based users: If you are based at an NU-affiliated hospital, you may experience problems downloading the EndNote software to your hospital computer. This is usually due to download restrictions imposed on hospital computers by your Information Systems support. Before trying to install EndNote, please contact the Information Systems support at the hospital where you are based.  You can also download EndNote to your home computer. Please follow the download instructions carefully.